Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Coup d'etat!

When I'd heard that there had been a military coup d'etat in Southeast Asia, I immediately suspected that it had taken place in Cambodia, and hoped that, perhaps, the Vietnamese army had overthrown the moribund Communist regime in Hanoi.

But Thailand? Yes, Thailand. Rumors of a military coup had, apparently, been swirling for months as a result of the nation's political crisis, and now, the army has pulled the trigger.

General Sondhi Boonyaratkalin of the Royal Thai Army is now Prime Minister of Thailand after the current Prime Minister, the much loathed Thaksin Shinawatra, was deposed in a bloodless coup while out of the country to attend meetings at the United Nations.

While international messages of "concern" are issued, the coup appears to have broad support from the Thai people and carries at least the tacit support of the King. The General, however, claims that this is just a temporary move, saying:

We would like to reaffirm that we don't have any intention to rule the country and will return power to the Thai people as soon as possible.
It remains to be seen if the General will make good on his word to restore democracy to Thailand, thus ending his brief career as dictator, but veteran dictator enthusiasts have heard the "we will restore democracy soon" line from nearly every single ursurping brasshat from the late Mobutu Sese Seko to Pervez Musharraf. Needless to say, nobody should hold their breath.

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